The Whole Team Here

Songs of the Post: Started from the Bottom by Drake || We Are the Champions by Queen || Tessie by Dropkick Murphys

Your Boston Red Sox are 2013 World Series Champions! The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals 6-1 on the jowls of John Lackey, the broken back of Shane Victorino, the MVP caliber walks of Papi and the [breaking] balls of Koji Uehara. Boston_Red_Sox_celebrates_World_Series_championship_20131031013016_320_240

It had been 95 years since the Red Sox had clinched the World Series at home. 1918 was the last time. That year sounds familiar, huh? Well it’s finally laid to rest. Babe Ruth has rolled over in his grave and now his bones have turned to dust. That number can no longer haunt us, that number is now just that, a number.

It feels like a weight has been lifted and we can finally breath easier. Now this weight is not as heavy, not a fraction as heavy as the one from 9 years ago. This weight carried different burdens; the bloated contracts, the slobs we called pitchers, the crazy manager, the “sexy” team, and being the laughing stock of the league. Now we shed those names and became the heroes, the beardos, the 2013 World Series Champions.

I can’t say much more that hasn’t been said already and I want to let it sink in for all of us, however; since Scott Boras has moved onto free agency; I might as well too.

|||||||||||||

I have half a mind of a GM and half a mind of a fan; perhaps that’s mostly just being a diehard. Show me a definition and I’ll stop thinking I can be in the front office. Part of me jumping ahead is because I won’t be around to experience the winter meetings and spring training (more on that in another post).

Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Napoli and Joel Hanrahan frontline the free agent grouping.

Els and Drew are both Scott Boras clients and he has already started the tampering. According to Boras, Ellsbury needs an MRI on his right hand and eleven teams have already called about him. Eleven teams! Also his other champion client Stephen Drew, after an historically poor postseason was fitted for contacts between games five and six. No complaints there actually; he hit a homerun due to the contacts. I believe, unless Farrell needs his binky in Stephen Drew, that both will be gone onto… greener walls… cough.. cough Chicago Cubs.

Good riddance too! At times, most of the times, Stephen Drew was unbearable to watch, and at others you thanked the living gods that he was at short. However, like his brother we won’t really miss him. We have a 21 year old hotshot coming in. And as for Jacoby, he has, until this year been too ‘Hollywood’ for Boston. Many teams will have increased money and Ellsbury should be wooed elsewhere.

Their replacements will be Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. I’m going to be the first to say it; these guys are the biggest, most dweeby, awkward baseball players I have ever seen. Their talent makes up for it though. Xander, fluent in four languages looked dumbfounded and like he’d rather be in an online chatroom when being interviewed; and at times when he was in the batter’s box. And I follow Jackie Bradley Jr. on twitter and some of the things he posts are just plain weird; and this picture: jbj

Like I said, their talent makes up for their current awkwardness.

In my opinion we can move on from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Napoli. Salty has overstayed his welcome by more than I ever wanted him to. Not to mention that he just kind of appeared on this team. I know he was traded but he’s just bleh. I can deal with Ross and Lavarnway until some of our catchers in the system can develop. Napoli was good while he was here but he was injured and he had that bigger hip issue early on. If they keep it to another year deal that’d be fine; but we can transition Lavarnway and Middlebrooks into firstbasemen as the farm seems to be teething with 3B and catchers.

I’d like to see Hanrahan back simply because Koji is 37 and that was magical and unheard of this season. We can’t expect near perfection for 5 months from him. He and Bailey looked good while they were back and forth between closer and setup. With Tazawa and Breslow and others in the ‘pen we’ll be looking good. I’d hope that Workman stays with the bullpen.

I think Lester should have his option picked up and we should work on and extension in the season. He earned it. Lackey should get another year or two added onto this contract he still owes us. Dubront should be the third starter and hope that he brings his stuff. Peavy and Dempster should split the fourth starter and one could be used as trade bait when the time comes. The fifth starter should be one of the kids in the farms; whether its De La Rosa or Webster; I think they can be brought up and taken under the wings of the older guys.

I didn’t forget about Buchholz:  indiana_jones_and_the_last_crusade

He can be traded at anytime in my opinion. We just went through Beckett checking out for half a year, but Beckett actually went out there and pitched. Buchholz’s attitude is very much west coast and he can go and take his shell necklace and hippie van out to California with him. The Dodgers threw us a bone once, why not again?

It’ll be a hot stove for sure, however we can’t bring back the same 25-40 guys. If you get complacent then you end up rolling in fried chicken grease and beer like the 2011 team.

-Lager

+I apologize for the lateness of the post
+I can’t take credit on the Buchholz picture- (Barstool)
+Check out the facebook page (link top left)

Advertisements

It’s Simple, Kill the Batman

Song of the Post: Carolina by Parmalee

Well, so much for figuring out Wacha tonight. The Red Sox lost 4-2 to the Cardinals in game 2 of the World Series. Game one featured hits, fielding errors and a dominant pitching performance.

Tonight had two masterful pitching performances and one fielding error that cost the game. Hard to say that it didn’t cause the loss because the Red Sox were shutdown from then on. Breslow committed the biggest baseball crime there is, throwing it around. Coaches yell and yell and yell some more when little leaguers on up throw the ball away. All it does is cost runs.

Wacha pitched beautifully except for one hiccup, the Papi homerun. The Cardinals played a Cardinal type game, it played exactly to their strengths, pitching, key hits, and baserunning and then the bullpen magic.

The Red Sox will need to jump on the 3 and 4 starters in St. Louis in hopes to get the clinching game in Lester’s hand. However, Boston’s two pitchers have big questions swirling around them. Can Peavy pitch better than he did in Detroit? Can Buchholz pitch at all? How can the bullpen respond if called upon early?

Many questions loom, and we will have to wait one whole night to find out.

So like the title; its simple, don’t let their bullpen win the game, beat the starter.

-Lager

“Meh,” Jon Lester.

Song of the post: Under Control by Calvin Harris and Alesso

Well that game was how else can I say it? Under control. The Red Sox won game one of the 2013 World Series 8-1 beating the St. Louis Cardinals. It was certainly the least anticlimactic game I’ve watched all season. Never really got off my ass for it to be perfectly honest. 9062869

It seemed wrapped up in the second inning. Once Beltran left the game the Cards only had Matt Holliday as their “danger guy.”

It was “Meh” neither here nor there as October baseball games go. The media raved and raved about Wainwright and how he’s the most underrated pitcher ever and how the Cardinals tore apart Clayton Kershaw a power lefty. So you’d think the scores would be reversed as you looked at it heading into the game.
Shortly thereafter the Sox had complete control and that was that. The most tense part was when Freese was up with the bases loaded, but he feebly grounded to Lester for a 1-2-3 double play.

This game should’ve been 10-1 or higher, we had their numbers. I especially liked the Ortiz 2-run shot. “This rookie is quite possibly their best arm in the sys—ORTIZ WITH THE STATEMENT!”

Wacha better hope that heat doesn’t spread through the Boston lineup.

“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire”

-Lager

The Rise, Fall, Crash, Burn and Renaissance Of the Red Sox

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls Welcome to Fenway Park home of your Boston Red Sox,
(I suggest you click on the links as you reminisce)

Finally the day of the World Series and your bearded Boston Red Sox are back in the October classic. After many seasons of strange happenstance since their last victory and the rise of Red Sox Nation; they have returned. We waited just 6 years this time, instead of 86.

That number is still tough to type. The memories and nightmares from that number are still and always will be fresh in our minds. I never had live images of Dent, Buckner, or Fisk and the likes; but I saw the Boone home run, Grady Little’s last stand and the stolen base. All of them flash before my eyes as I type this for you to read.

RISE. Jason-Veritek-and-Keith-Foulke-Appearance

Papi’s heroics and Foulke’s erasing pitch birthed an entire new brand of Red Sox baseball. The one that was about filling seats, sexy rosters and selling pink hats. That worked and fueled big contracts, beer guts and an ’07 title. Why change that formula? Keep buying the clubhouse beers and signing their increasingly fatter checks and be competitive.

Always there, always in it.

That should be a Red Sox motto.

Always there, more than there; then in less than an hour, out of the playoffs completely. Again the memories, mostly nightmares and flashes of the 2011 team. Up in the 9th with the lock-down jig dancing closer against the measly Orioles. *last button to the Yankees/Rays game* Yankees are up by a landslide. The September from hell is over. *last button Red Sox/Orioles* One on. Papelbon still has it in the bag. *last button* “What in the– How? The Rays came back?! Whatever A-Rod is up maybe he can do us a favor and save us.” *last button and an eternity later* “Ball in the air, Crawford under it, closing in, closing in, he doesn’t catch it. Orioles walk–” *last* “7-7 Longoria cocks the bat, he hits it, down the line and the Rays win it!” *click—* 

Silence.

FALL.

From that moment on it was finger pointing and beer drinking and firing of managers and words shot every-which way. An offseason of disgust. Then utter confusion as Bobby Valentine was hired. You can hear the plane falling down. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

CRASH.

The 2012 Red Sox a team full of money and talent but nothing much else. We dealt with angry Papi, who however, was hitting the ball just like he used to. Then you heard murmurs of dislike. Then Pedroia shot at Bobby V. Texts were sent and more fingers were pointed. And we were tanking down, down, down. The trade deadline passed and somehow we just were expected to like and put up with this mockery of a team.

BURN.

And all of a sudden a trade went through. Sending bags of money and lifeless talent to LA. And we continued to burn into the history books as the clowns from Boston, with no end in sight. And yet the season ended and shortly thereafter Valentine was fired. John Farrell and a slew of free agents were signed to strange deals that were promised to get us back into it. Admit it we were all skeptical.

RENAISSANCE.

And yet hope springs eternal. These fellows were winning some games. But then our closer went down. Then another. But the team was still winning actual games. We got intrigued and the beards began to grow; some since long before and some just popping up as of now. We were intrigued during the season; merely interested because there’s no way that they can keep up the winning- they haven’t in what seemed like ages. No way could they keep this up. But they did, and gathered more than one believer on their way. 131003153809-red-sox-beards2-single-image-cut

They played several Cy Young Winners and candidates and were put up against some historical pitching and beat it with something more than just beards. They pitched toe to toe with some of the best, their bats went hot, then cold and yet we came back to life. We made a few of the most feared hitters and touted prospects fan and shake their head back to the dugouts. And we found out that Koji is part reptile with ice in his veins. We found Papi still has it in him to change a postseason. We have hope and we believe again.

“I haven’t found an answer for the question; why not us?”

After a long six years could it be possible that the Cardinals can, once again, help us forget the painful past?

Lager

+If you’ve seen Fever Pitch you’ll understand the reference in the link.

If the Penguins are The Heat, the Blackhawks are The Thunder

Song of the post: Fade into Darkness by Avicii

It’s finally here! The Stanley Cup Finals start tonight!

Now for the picks we all are thinking about: Who will win? In how many games? Who will win the Conn Smythe?

The first two come in one package and unfortunately I am picking against the Bruins. I think the Blackhawks will win the Cup in 6 games.

The Bruins won’t be able to shut down two of the best offenses and beat two goalies in 3 separate rounds. The Bruins took care of King Henrik Lundqvist and moved onto a juggernaut in the Penguins offense; they beat two of the best on each side of the puck and won’t be able to continue their ways against a more balanced Blackhawks team.

The Blackhawks have a great offense who is coming unto their own after being down 3-1 to the Red Wings. Then to make things more dangerous for them, Kane got on a hot streak with the last two games. They are going to come out furiously after the Bruins “D-to-D” passes in the Chicago offensive zone. They have done that to the Kings and will roll onto the Bruins like so. Their defense is quick and can score, and a few of them can hit hard, Oduya and Seabrook will hit hard and shoot harder creating rebounds for their potent offense. ku-xlarge

Their goalie is nothing to thumb your nose at. He’s no Reimer, or Voukoun or Fluerry. He beat the best goalie in the world, head to head. Crawford has been great and beat Ray Emery, who had a great season, for the starting job. He had to take on a lot of big bodies at LA last series.* He had no trouble with them at all. It will be a battle for goals in the first 30 seconds.

The Conn Smythe trophy winner will be the soon to be Selke trophy winner, Johnathan Toews. He will take on Kerjci, Bergeron, Chara, and Seidenberg with ease. He has hands like butter and passes on a rope, with lasers for shots. He will have no issue trying and succeeding against the Boston Bruins. He will change the series and be the MVP. He will haul up the Stanley Cup with the Conn Smythe in tow. He will slingshot past Chara as the best Captain in the league.

I’m rooting for the Bruins, but the ‘Hawks will win. In six. “Well they’re a lock.”

Lager

+If the Bruins throw the sink at them like in the Ranger series Crawford won’t stop anything.

+Quoted- Peter Chairelli on the Penguins being a favorite for the cup after the Iginla trade.

Complete Preview Stanley Cup

Song of the post: Keys to the City by Ministry – & – Good Ole Hockey Game

One day away from the Stanley Cup Finals and it is time to preview the teams.

This post will be featuring the forwards of the two teams.

The Bruins, who I always talk about are a dangerous team when they are scoring. The Blackhawks are very much the same.

Patrick+Kane+Stanley+Cup+Finals+Chicago+Blackhawks+b4Bkn6YXpdlxThe Blackhawks three most dangerous forwards between Toews, Kane and Hossa. Then their second tier players Bickell, Sharp, Saad, Stahlberg and the bunch are also forces and have come alive this postseason.

The Bruins have been rolling their lines and been successful with three of their four. The Krejci line has been phenomenal this playoffs, legendary even. Their next trio of Bergeron, Jagr and Marchand has stepped it up for a more even keeled attack. Their other two lines are the big questions in this series.

The question for the coaches is what forward line will play against the Toews and Kane line. If its Krejci and Horton going against their top line it’ll be interesting to see Bickell and Lucic trade heavy hits and see who is the bigger player. If the Toews line goes against the Bergeron line it’ll be a huge mismatch for Chicago, if they win the faceoff. Kane can outskate Jagr and dangle past Marchand; while Bickell will power past Jagr and potentially injure Marchand.

If I am Claude Julien I am matching up the Bergeron line with the Hossa-Sharp line, Marchand can get under their skins while Jagr can handle Hossa and his dangling.

The big question will be how the third lines will matchup. The “triple S” line of the Blackhawks, Saad, Stahlberg and Shaw have magically clicked and torn it up this postseason. Their counterparts on the other hand are not producing as much as we would like. However the new combination of Daugavins and Seguin will be quick and can pick the blocker side of Crawford.

The fourth lines of these two teams are the most talented in the league and will be tested by each other. The Bruins will miss Campbell but will hope to see Kelly produce similar numbers or even more. The Blackhawks are going to be tested by the merlot line, however the line led by Handzus will do it’s best to corrall the bunch and keep them from getting their chances. 116730365_crop_650x440

The defenses of these two team will be up to the test. The Bruins haven’t exactly faced this much of a team seeing as Pittsburgh gifted them by putting up 2 goals all series. The Blackhawks have faced a forechecking team like the Bruins before, they just beat the Kings who play a similar style of game.

The Bruins will have to face 3 lines that can really score and put the pressure on whenever they are on the ice. The Blackhawks will have the same test.

It’s going to come down to who has the better lower defensemen. For the Bruins it is Krug and McQuaid who have been awesome this postseason. The Blackhawks are at a clear disadvantage in this department because after Oduya their power is lesser.

Chara and Seidenberg will be put to the test no matter what line they are put up against. In fact each and every line is going to be a test for the D-pairs. Krug and McQuaid will have to stop Kane and Toews at least once on a two on two battle. It’ll be important for the forwards to cover the points in this series. If not Tuukka will have a tougher test ahead of him.

Speaking of Tuukka. Bot teams have lights out goalies who have just started playing their best hockey. Rask is a wall from the waist down, and Crawford is a quick side to side goalie who will frustrate the Bruins to no avail. The offenses will be put to the test and who ever is most patient will finally crack the scoresheet, and potentially the series.

The Coaches are two of the best in the league and each will be pinned against the wall in this series.

Lager

+I won’t make my prediction until tomorrow so check back in before puck drop.